Cinema Essentials CMBA interview

Every month the Classic Movie Blog Association profiles one of its members. This month it's the turn of Jay, author of the esteemed film website known as Cinema Essentials, to be interviewed. Thanks to the CMBA's John Greco for organising this. You can read the profile here


  1. Jay, I do love your detailed answers. You were all pretty lucky that in English-speaking countries classic films were part of the TV landscape. I took a few film classes in college but the problem with those classes is, they're either very revisionist and/or the professor views everything through the prism of his own ideology.

    Of course you should write that Bond book. Or at least write about In Her Majesty's Secret Service, probably the most underrated movie in the series.

    I agree about not making people watch old movies if they're not interested. Tried it a few times, some take the bait, for others the only takeaway is "people looked/talked funny in those days". Now that's just lame.

    Hope you're OK.

    1. Yes I'm fine thanks. I hope you are well.

      I think British TV was generally good at showing films as well, they seem to have been treated with more respect than on US television. The commercial channels could cut films for timing purposes, but I don't think the BBC did this. What do you mean when you say your film classes were revisionist or ideological?

      I don't know if OHMSS is underrated anymore, although it was for quite a long time. I think it's topped fan polls of the best Bond film in recent years. The most underrated one now might be The Living Daylights. In the 1990s and 2000s it was almost certainly the other Timothy Dalton film, Licence to Kill. OHMSS was forgotten or ignored for a couple of decades, but LTK was actively disliked, even hated. Just about all of the Bond books written in the '90s slated it and rated it the worst Bond ever, not really a Bond film, etc. But opinion has been changing on that one.

      I never try and convert people or anything like that, although I often find people have some level of interest. I do get a lot of those "What was that film ... ?" type questions, because people know from experience that I often know the answer, because I've seen too many films.

    2. Sorry for the late reply, but the world is out of joint.
      What I meant about film classes is that nowadays you always seem to get a little preachy PC lecture with it. So tedious.

      I didn't know that OHMSS topped fan polls of the best Bond film in recent years. It is certainly one of the most stylish. For everybody who's interested in interior design, this is a must watch.

      I hope you continue to do fine, at least now we all have unlimited time to watch classic films. Oh, and cat videos.

    3. I had no idea it was a must-see for interior design fans. I don't associate the Syd Cain films with interesting design at all. There's the chess tournament set in From Russia with Love and that sad little monorail in Live and Let Die, but nothing that Ken Adam would lose any sleep over. I need to investigate this! What in particular are you thinking of? Is it the interiors at Piz Gloria, the mountain top clinic?

    4. Yes, the mountain top clinic. I've tried to find some good photos online but they're all not so great. I admit Ken Adam is hard to beat.

      Maybe I try to take some screen shots. Then I have to figure out how to post them.

    5. Well, this seems like a good excuse to watch the film again!

  2. I haven't seen these three? Yeah I know right!! Crazy!! So straight off you've added to my to watch list. 23 Paces to Baker Street, Night Train to Munich and Charade. Much appreciated Jay.
    Hear hear on the Star Wars "Special Edition" is an abomination,
    I keep trying to get to The Charge of the Light Brigade, seeing it mentioned reminds me to push it up the list.
    Great interview and read. Really enjoyed that this morning.
    Keep up the loafing and those posts as long as It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World Jay.
    All the best buddy.

    1. Hey Mikey, it's great to hear from you.

      Night Train to Munich is just like The Lady Vanishes, so a lot of fun (same writers + Charters and Caldicott are back). Charade is really good too.

      I asked about the comment thing and unfortunately you only get a notification of replies if you're signed in to a Google account. Yeah, I know, it's rubbish! Oh well. I hope you're doing OK.

  3. Are you kidding about Bringing Up Baby?

    1. No, of course not. I did say it was an unpopular opinion!


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